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Scottish self-employed need help to create opportunities

Contractors north of the border may be interested to learn that the Scottish economy is still showing signs of recovery, according to data from Lloyds TSB Scotland.

The bank's latest Business Monitor showed that a third of Scottish businesses saw turnover increase in the three months up to the end of November. An equal amount of companies saw turnover decrease but the two cancel each other out and result in a zero balance. This is a marked improvement on the minus seven seen in the previous quarter and also compares favourably with the minus eight recorded in the same quarter of 2009.

Lloyds TSB Scotland's chief economist, Donald MacRae, said that manufacturing was spearheading the recovery.

Temporary contracts make up the majority of the new jobs that are being created in Scotland and this could mean increased opportunities for freelancers and contractors.

The Report on Jobs from the Bank of Scotland also showed that there was a slight upturn in the Scottish labour market in November.

The FSB is calling on the Scottish parliament to help freelancers in the country create opportunities for others. It wants to see one-to-one support given to the 198,275 individuals who are registered as self-employed in Scotland.

Andy Willox, the Scottish Policy convenor for the FSB, pointed out that the small business community in Scotland continues to grow. Dedicated support for self-employed individuals would help take businesses to the next level and create thousands of job opportunities which in turn would reduce unemployment levels. If it was easier and cheaper to become an employer, more people would "take the plunge", he concluded.

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